Steven Heller has published more than 60 books on the subject of illustration, typography, and other subjects relating to graphic design. Over the years, Heller has kept track and written about trends in design.
In "Cult of the Ugly" Steven Heller brings the question of what beauty is to our minds. He compares the beauty standards of typography and other design from decade to decade and era to era. In the article, Heller emphasizes on the ugly integrating with the beauty during the 1970s wave of the Punk subculture. He illustrates how the punk scene was dedicated to the shock factor, which eventually led to what was considered "ugly" design to be considered high design and also to ask the question "Where does beauty begin and where does it end?" Heller also brings to mind John Keats famous line, "Beauty is truth, truth Beauty - that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" but insists that anyone's beauty can and will be another person's ugly.
Your beauty is another person's ugly
The standards of beauty change from decade to decade and era and era
Your beauty is not the norm
The idea of "good design" is always to be challenged
Take the ugly, make it pretty and vice versa
"Ugliness is valid, even refreshing, when it is key to an indigenous language representing alternative ideas and cultures."